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Cranford, NJ 07016
(908) 276-EYES (3937)
(908) 276-3030

Artificial Tears

The mainstay of all dry eye treatment is first and foremost the use of supplemental lubrication, or artificial tears, to add to the deficient tear film on the surface of the eye. There are many types and brands of lubricating eye medications.

  • Artificial tears are drops which add lubricants to the ocular surface. Most of these solutions attempt to mimic somewhat the composition of the natural tear film with varying success. The major brands have different interpretations of how best to accomplish that goal.
  • Supplemental lubricants also come in gel or oil forms. These agents evaporate more slowly but can blur vision for a period of time.
  • Ointments are helpful at locking in moisture at the surface, since they are very slow to evaporate. However, the tradeoff is blurry vision for a considerable period of time. These agents are very helpful at bed time, when clear vision is not an issue, especially if there are problems with lid closure when sleeping.

Beware of store brand “generic” tear substitutes. They tend to have more preservatives which are potentially harmful to the surface of the eye. Also avoid eye drops which claim to eliminate redness, since they often have ingredients which simply constrict blood vessels. They are potentially habit forming, and they could increase systemic blood pressure.

No matter what dry eye therapeutic regimen is employed, artificial tears will likely be needed as additional therapy.